Students interacting with each other

Youth Becoming Leaders 2018

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Become the leader God has called you to be when you join other high school students who are committed to Christ, leaders in their community, academically gifted, and discerning a call to full-time Christian Ministry. Eligible students must have finished 9th grade by June 2018 and have a GPA of 3.3 or higher.


Camp Dates:

Monday June 4 - Friday June 15, 2018
Daily Schedule available January 1.


The camp is $360 for students accepted into the 2018 program.

What You Can Expect:

  • Immersion in a Christian community for worship, learning, and experiencing God
  • Theological instruction from renowned Asbury University and Seminary faculty
  • Experiential training in spiritual disciplines
  • Training in researching and engaging significant global issues utilizing iPads** and discerning culture
  • Observation and training with local ministry leaders
  • Training for community action together with a mentor from your home community***
  • A life changing experience

Youth Becoming Leaders: High School Christian Leadership and Global Transformation Institute equips high school students for theologically guided living and decision making through immersion in Christian Scripture, theological texts, tradition, and community to lead and serve in a complex global society.

Requirements for being accepted to Youth Becoming Leaders:

  • Complete the application
  • Identify a mentor from your home church/community that will commit to journeying through a mentor relationship for the next year. Have this potential mentor fill out the Youth Becoming Leaders Mentor and Reference Form and submit by March 9, 2018. Acceptance to the YBL program will be granted as early as February 15.
  • Accepted applicants will be asked to memorize a Scripture passage - Luke 1:26-38, 46-55 - that connects with the theme of Youth Becoming Leaders. (You will be asked to submit a video of yourself reciting the verses.)
  • Turn in all application materials (online application, mentor & reference form, and video of Scripture memorization) by Friday, March 9.

If students are then accepted into the Youth Becoming Leaders program they will need to:

  • Complete a short personality inventory which will be used in placing participants into small groups and assisting in leadership development. (A link to this inventory will be sent to the email address you enter below upon submission of the application information.) Deadline April 15, 2018.
  • Complete a short online pre-event assessment. (This assessment will be emailed to the participant in late spring. It will be important for the participants to be aware of and respond to all email communication from Asbury University about the Youth Becoming Leaders program.) Deadline April 15, 2018.
  • Submit payment of $360 to Asbury University. Deadline April 15, 2018.
  • Read a short book that will be referenced during the institute. (Upon acceptance into the program Asbury University will send this book to the participant’s mailing address listed below.) Deadline to have the book read, June 3, 2018.

*Youth Becoming Leaders requires acceptance through an application process (application coming soon) that includes; a minimum GPA of 3.3, demonstration of leadership in the local community, reference letters, and memorizing scripture.  The low cost of $360 is enabled because Youth Becoming Leaders is funded in part by a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment. All other ImpactU camps have a different price structure.

**Students in the Youth Becoming Leaders Institute will be given iPads and trained to use them for ministry.

***This initiative will also include a post-residential camp curriculum that includes elements to be completed with their mentor, who will be brought in for the last day of the camp for training and to refine a project to be completed with the student in the months following.

What YBL Participants Are Saying

"YBL has truly changed my life."

"This program has allowed me to become a greater person, and I truly love it!"

"I keep seeing that God is on the move. I've been really encouraged to keep saying yes to God. I want to be stretched. I love seeing how present God has been in our relationships here."

"I continue to be extremely thankful for YBL. I have thought about camp more and more in my time spent at college. What a special experience that is still influencing my life."

"Through this program I have learned that I'm not too young to start a big change."

"I think all in all, the Lord has proven to me most His presence and power in my ministry plans, above my own abilities or hopes."

About Your Instructors:

Youth Becoming Leaders will be run by Asbury University faculty and students from the Christian Studies and Philosophy department in partnership with Asbury Theological Seminary faculty, Festival of Preaching staff, Youth for Christ staff, local ministry leaders, and a host of expert guests.

Montague Williams

Montague Williams is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene and has served in congregational, non-profit, and educational ministry over the past 15 years. He served as College Chaplain and Chair of the Division of Religion and Philosophy at Eastern Nazarene College (Boston, MA) before coming to Point Loma Nazarene University in 2017. His doctoral research takes seriously the experiences and pastoral needs of youth and young adults in multiracial and multicultural ministry contexts. He has written articles and chapters for several publications, and he regularly speaks at conferences and retreats on the church's presence and engagement with society.

Tara Thomas Smith

Tara Thomas Smith is currently serving as Co-Lead Pastor (with her husband Brett) at Bakersfield First Church of the Nazarene. She has served as a missionary in the South Pacific, doing Community Based Health Care and teaching at a Melanesian Bible College. She has also served as the Director of a Crisis Pregnancy Center, and spoken at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland about contemporary forms of slavery with a focus on human trafficking. She has pastored in Tennessee, Indiana, and now California. She holds a dual degree in religious studies and political science from Olivet Nazarene University, and is currently working on her Master of Divinity at Nazarene Theological Seminary.

Chris Bounds

Chris Bounds came to Asbury after teaching for more than a decade in the School of Theology and Ministry at Indiana Wesleyan University. He is an Ordained Elder in The Arkansas Conference of The United Methodist Church, where he served as an associate and senior pastor for eight years. He received his B. A. degree in Bible and Greek from Asbury University in 1988, and an M. Div. degree in 1991 from Asbury Theological Seminary with an emphasis in theological studies. He was awarded his M. Phil. in 1994 and Ph. D. in 1997 from Drew University with a focus in systematic theology.

He and his wife Tamara have been married for over twenty years. They have two children, Maris and Morgan. Chris loves Arkansas Razorback basketball, Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football, and Ben and Jerry’s Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream.

James Hampton

Rev. Dr. James K. Hampton is the professor of youth ministry and practical theology at Asbury Theological Seminary. A veteran of youth ministry for over 25 years, he co-founded Barefoot Ministries, a publishing company in the Wesleyan tradition and served as the coordinator of Youth Ministries (USA/Canada) for the Church of the Nazarene from 1999 to 2001. In addition, he spent nine years on ministerial staff in churches in Ohio and Kansas. He is a well-respected writer, having written numerous articles and chapters for youth and youth workers, including serving as the author and/or editor of seven books, including Worship-Centered Teaching, Everyday Saint, and his most recent book, Sacred Space: Living in the Presence of God. Jim and his wife, Carolyn, have two children.

Kevin Becht

Kevin Becht is the Southern Indiana Area Director for Youth for Christ/USA. He is a graduate of Asbury University (B.A. Christian Ministries/Intercultural Studies Concentration).

He served as a contributing editor of The YFC Three Story Bible and The Life Bible-zine with Tyndale Publishers, as well as a member of the Leadership Development team as a facilitator of One Heart Retreats (the initial training experience for YFC missionaries serving around the world).

He and his wife Kristi have been married for twenty five years. They have three children. Joshua (Asbury Class of 2018), Hannah (Asbury Class of 2021), and Caleb (who plans to attend Asbury).

Brian Hull

Dr. Brian Hull is the program director and is a professor of Youth Ministry at Asbury University.  Brian has over 20 years of youth ministry experience and has been the director of the CALL Conference, a weekend experience for High School students who are called to ministry, since 2009.